'This is what I’m good at!' TV villains who excel at evil

Yahoo Contributor Network

Your high school guidance counselor probably gave you a simple piece of career advice: Find out what you're good at and find some way to do that for a living. But some TV characters who follow this advice end up going down a dark path. By following their natural strengths, these TV characters all embarked on lifestyles filled with vice, criminal behavior, and evil.

Walter White, "Breaking Bad"

At the outset of the series, Walter White is simply using his chemistry skills to earn some quick cash to support his family after his death. But as the series goes on, and Walt starts being responsible for more and more deaths, it becomes clear that Walt is bent on building his meth empire just to fuel his own ego. He has a masterful ability with crystal chemistry that he doesn't have an outlet for in his daily life. Cooking meth better than anyone else on the planet gives him a sick sense of pride.

To a somewhat lesser extent, Mike is also committed to a life of crime because of his unique skills. He used to be a police officer in Philly, but when that chapter of his life had to end, Mike used his police skills to become a brutal enforcer for Gus Fring. However, Mike tries to get out of his life of crime, because he wants to be there for his granddaughter.

Tyrion Lannister, "Game of Thrones"

On the surface, it seems like Tyrion has no good reason to stay in King's Landing. After all, his sister already tried to kill him once. On top of that, his father stole his position.

But Tyrion wants to stay in King's Landing because there is nowhere else where he can practice his unique set of manipulative skills. As he puts it in one episode, "I do belong here. These bad people...are what I'm good at. Out-talking them, out-thinking them...it's what I am. And I like it. I like it more than anything I've ever done."

Tyrion is just plain good at playing with the bad guys, despite being basically good himself. No wonder he stays put. As he likes to say, "My brother has his sword, and I have my mind."

Sylar, "Heroes"

As the show progressed, Sylar's motivations for all his nefarious activities began to change. In Season 1, he simply wanted to feel special (thanks to influence from his mother). In the next season, Sylar was almost vampire-like. He tried to sublimate his bloodlust with killing and stealing abilities. But in Season 3, Sylar seemed to come into his own. He had made peace with who he is and what he's good at. And what he's good at just happens to be killing and being evil.

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